• Emilie Nøhr Shaw
  • Astrid Kjærgaard Nielsen
4. term, Danish, Master (Master Programme)
The perfect translation is a utopian illusion – this is what several researchers within translation studies declare. Nonetheless, translation remains our only real opportunity to access literature written in languages other than those we master. Inherent in the concept of the perfect transla-tion is a dilemma that this thesis wishes to elaborate: How will the translator make its transla-tion equivalent to the source-text? This is what we investigate in this thesis, based on two dif-ferent translations of the same work, Mio, min Mio (1954) by Astrid Lindgren. The two trans-lations originate from 1955 and 2012, respectively, and through the investigation we want to provide an insight into why there is a need to retranslate. Literary classics, including Mio, min Mio, are continuously translated, thus we are curious to why this is the case: Perhaps the re-translations themselves indicate that the perfect translation does not exist and that one seeks to refine the translations. We respond to this wonder by addressing the following research ques-tion in our master’s thesis: Which translation strategies are used in the two Danish translations from 1955 and 2012 of Mio, min Mio, and in which way are the translations equivalent to the source-text? We want to answer this question, because it can elucidate which compromises that have been made in the translation practice. In addition, we wish to address how the two transla-tions are equivalent to the source-text, because this can help clarify what the focus has been in the two Danish translations of the source-text.
The method to answer the research question is first to position ourselves within De-scriptive Translation Studies: A tradition within Translation Studies that aims to describe trans-lations from an objective perspective and to map which phenomena unfold in the translations in relation to the source-text – and in between translations. The theoretical basis for our compara-tive analysis of the two translations is based on basic lexical and etymological knowledge, theo-ry of translation strategies, the concept of equivalence and the dichotomies that exist in the re-search area.
In the analysis of the thesis, we will start by reviewing the choice of words that have been made in the two translations. We chose to examine the adjectives because many of these turned out to be different in each of the translations. We found that the adjectives in the 1955 translation appeared formal equivalent to the source-text, as the adjectives are clearly based on the source-text in terms of orthography and etymology. In the 2012 translation, the adjectives differed from the 1955 translation and the source-text, due to the historical developments in the meaning of the adjectives, polysemy in Swedish word meanings, and furthermore a difference in the pragmatics of certain words. This distribution of equivalence turns out to contrast with the additional analysis. The theory of translation strategies is based on Anne Schjoldager’s un-derstanding of microstrategies and macrostrategies, hence we analyse the two translations with the purpose of uncovering which microstrategies that have been used. We design the analysis so that the microstrategies form the basis for being able to determine which macrostrategy has been used in each of the translations. In the analysis of the translations, we could see a use of the microstrategies: Direct transfer, direct translation, explicitation, paraphrase, condensation, adaptation, addition and deletion, and the way these were distributed in the two translations led us to classify a target-text oriented macrostrategy from the translation from 1955, while the 2012 translation is characterised by a source-text oriented macrostrategy. During the microstrat-egy analysis, the distribution of microstrategies led us to address whether the translations ap-pear either formal or dynamic equivalent to the source-text, which are concepts originating from Eugene Nida. From this, we could categorise the translation from 1955 as dynamic equivalent to the source-text, while the translation from 2012 appears formal equivalent. The results from our analysis led to a discussion that includes different theoretical viewpoints for the translation of children’s literature, for translation in general and for the translations of Mio, min Mio. In the discussion section, we reflect on the appropriate translation strategy, and we compare these reflections with our own analytical results. The conclusion of this master’s thesis classifies the 1955 translation as target-text-oriented and with dynamic equivalence with the source-text while the 2012 translation is characterised by a source-text-oriented macrostrategy and is formal equivalent with the source-text.
Publication date2 Jun 2023
Number of pages127
ID: 532586797